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Poster: b3timmons Date: Apr 15, 2008 3:00pm
Forum: opensource_movies Subject: Please pick a better name than "Open Source"

First, I would like to express my gratitude to archive.org for hosting my content.

However, I was disappointed that my video is in the category called "Open Source". There surely must be a more accurate phrase, such as "Redistributable". Problems with "Open Source" include:

1. It already is a much misunderstood and misused term that refers to SOFTWARE. A central aspect of "open source" is that the preferred form of working with it, the source code, is available to be modified, used, and redistributed. Where is the equivalent for video, audio, etc.? Yes, in principle, I could share raw, unconverted video and audio, but let's face it, that is just not going to catch on. Moreover, it would be very inconvenient for archive.org to make those kinds of distinctions. Software, on the other hand, has had an established tradition here, and it is relatively clear what is meant.

2. The video that I distributed is under a Creative Commons license--Attribution, No Derivatives, I believe. However, "no derivatives" *fails* to qualify as "open source", since "open source" implies that something can be freely modified and distributed, i.e., derivatives *are* allowed. Thus, my video was miscategorized as "Open Source" because the category name inaccurately characterizes a broad class of redistributable content.

3. By coincidence my video happened to be about "open source" software, but even here the category term would be inadequate because the more accurate term here would be "free software". "free software" clearly implies that the subject is a kind *software*, and if you search for that phrase, you will find that it has a well-established meaning, referring to freedom and not price. Indeed, my video was specifically about a way to contribute to the free software *movement* and most definitely not about the "open source" *campaign*. Thus, even if my video were categorized as about software, "Free software" would be the best category name. I should mention that some people deal with this particular controversy by saying something like "Free Softare / Open Source". However, I realize this point #3 is not as germane to my argument as points #1 and #2.

Please consider changing the category to a better name than "Open Source". I am confident that archive.org will eventually do the right thing.

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Poster: ghostofdali Date: May 25, 2008 2:10pm
Forum: opensource_movies Subject: Re: Please pick a better name than "Open Source"

I agree with you completely, and just wanted to second the motion.

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Poster: b3timmons Date: May 25, 2008 2:31pm
Forum: opensource_movies Subject: Re: Please pick a better name than "Open Source"

Thanks for your support.

I regret that my post was not as coherent as it should have been; I did not do justice to the problem.

As a force for good in the world, IA can do better. Using "Open Source" to describe redistributable videos only adds to the confusion inflicted by marketing terms such as "Open Source". (Go ahead, look it up, "Open Source" was invented for marketing purposes.)

Indeed, IA is nothing without its mission of *organizing* data. Organizing in turn depends on clarity and is hurt by confusion. Thus, more precise language such as "redistributable" should be chosen over marketing buzz such as "Open Source".

(BTW, I concede that "Open Source" is a kind of convention for software. Please just leave it there.)

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